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(LEAD) Heavy snow advisory issued for Seoul, western area of capital

All News 18:10 December 18, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in paras 5-7; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea issued a heavy snow advisory in the greater Seoul area for the first time this winter, the weather agency said Saturday.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said the advisory went into effect in Seoul, the western port city of Incheon and some of the western parts of the greater Seoul area at 3 p.m.

The snowfall that began at around 1 p.m. is expected to gradually move east to affect the country's capital region at 2-4 p.m. and the inland areas of Gangwon Province at 3-5 p.m.

Seoul, its surrounding areas, Gangwon Province and the mountainous regions on Jeju Island may see snow of up to 8 centimeters, while northern areas of Gyeonggi Province and Ulleung Island could experience up to 5 cm, according to the agency.

A person sweeps away snow on a road in western Seoul on Dec. 18, 2021, after the capital experienced the season's first heavy snow.

The season's first heavy snow caused heavy traffic jams and at least 10 minor car accidents on major expressways across Seoul before the snow advisory was lifted for the capital and its surrounding areas at 5 p.m.

A section of Bugaksan Road, which traverses central Seoul, was temporarily blocked off, while the average speed of traffic in central Seoul had stood at 11.2 kilometers per hour as of 4:30 p.m.

As of 5 p.m., Seoul had accumulated 3.1 centimeters of snow, and Incheon had 4.9 cm, the agency said.

The KMA added the country is likely to experience more snowfall Sunday and asked people to listen to the updated weather forecast.

People walk on a street in Seoul in the snow on Dec. 18, 2021. (Yonhap)

At the same time, the entire nation came under the grip of the season's coldest weather, pushing down Seoul's daily low to the lowest temperature of the season.

The morning low reached minus 11 C in the capital at 7 a.m. Saturday, with morning lows in central regions falling below 0.

Daily low temperatures of Daejeon and Daegu came to negative 7.5 C and minus 8.7 C, respectively, while the southern port city of Busan saw its morning temperature drop to minus 6.5 C.

The cold wave is expected to begin easing Sunday, according to the weather agency.

brk@yna.co.kr
(END)

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